Showing posts from October, 2017

Be Encouraging Every Day

If you looked up the numbers on how many positive comments a person needs to negative you will probably see numbers like 5 positive comments for every negative. I'm sure people are different and situations are different, but no matter which study you go with the fact remains that people need to hear more positive comments than we typically do. When we think about who is responsible for taking action on this we look to the managers and leaders where we work. I believe that managers have a responsibility in this area, but we would see more impact if everyone looked to how they could be more positive and encouraging to those they interact with, regardless of position or title. I challenge everyone to get in the habit of giving 5 positive comments throughout each day to different people. This isn't about giving feedback and trying to give more positive comments than negative, this is about going out of your way to encourage someone. The only words that you speak in these emails o

What You Want And What You Need

I came across an interesting article recently, one that I would never have sought out but it reminded me that you can find hidden gems of information and common ground if you take the time to look. The article was about amor fati, Latin for "love of fate", and apparently it is a common saying in Stoicism. The only thing I knew about Stoicism was there was some contention with the early Christian Church and Stoics of that age. The article opens with a story about Thomas Edison losing everything in a massive fire, destroying his life's work at the age of 67. His reaction to his son as he watched the inferno, "Go get your mother and all her friends. They will never see a fire like this again." and "We got rid of a lot of rubbish." Edison didn't get angry, lament for days or cry uncontrollably in the fetal position in his home. He took the hand that he was dealt and made the best of it. By the end of the first year after the fire the company had gen

We All Make Mistakes

We fail daily. Every one of us has a number of mistakes we make every day. A misinterpreted statement, a lie we think is innocent, hurting someone we love, or not doing our jobs correctly. Each one of us is an imperfect human being, yet we love to point out the mistakes of others. We daily forget to support each other in our imperfect human nature. To always remember to let those without sin be the ones to throw the first stone. Whenever we complain about a mistake someone else makes, the challenge I pose is to catch yourself in that moment and do something that helps the person. A simple yet effective way is to tell the person, without any trace of accusation or belittling, "I'm sorry for what happened. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help." Then follow through the best you can. You never know, maybe one of those people will come beside you the next time you make a mistake and support you.

Find Your Path And Stay The Course

There are times when it is a good thing to change, the old ways just don't work anymore. Too often though we are quick to change without an idea of where we want to go. We try to copy others that we think are successful, if it worked for them it should work for me. Waffling from one thing to another. The football coach that can't decide if they are going to be a run first or pass heavy offense. The manager that changes between the charismatic "I want to be your friend" and the task driven "this is the job we need to get done." The basketball coach switching between the fast break, high scoring team and the half court, defensive minded team. The teacher that sometimes runs their classroom as very structured and other times opens it up and lets the kids learn what they want to. All of these people are basically saying they don't know who they are. You are never going to succeed if you try to copy others and keep changing things.  Who are you?

Don't Let Hate Win

I am appalled and remorseful of what has become of our country. The things that have transpired the past few months and the conversation around them: Charlottesville, Las Vegas, and the protests of the treatment of fellow citizens of this country, just to name a few. Think of your social media feed and the comments section on the articles you read about it. Never ending arguments of I'm right, they are wrong, here is a post to like that says you agree with me. Everyone is building a wall, every post is a brick that makes it higher and thicker, keep your enemies out and separate from those that think like you. It breaks my heart that we are a country building walls because we are so divided and so outspoken about our hatred of those that have a different opinion. I don't know where I found it but an article by Zoe Zorka about our culture of hate perfectly captures what I'm thinking. It is so easy today to spread hate, and social media makes it easier than ever. It isn'

A Challenge That Faces Every Leader

If you are in a leadership position of any kind you will eventually run across someone that doesn't believe in you. Maybe you got promoted from within and a former peer thinks they deserve the job more. Or you came into a leadership position from the outside and one on your team thinks the old boss was better. That you aren't even needed, they were getting along just fine without you. You are in this position for a reason. The person that hired you, or promoted you, did so for a reason. Romans 13:1 says "all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God." You have earned this, claim that. Everyone is going to have critics. Most people don't like change and you represent change that they are still trying to work through. Don't let what others say or feel distract you or change you. The person you are earned you the right to be in that position, don't adapt to try and please everyone because you won't. Ju

The Person To Help You Reach Your Goals

Most of us have goals in life that we want to accomplish, but most of our goals are just our own. There isn't a manager telling us what we need to do each day to achieve our diet and exercise goals. There isn't someone helping create a reading plan that leads us to finishing that book that will make us better. Nobody is with us in the store telling us what we can and can't buy to remain within our budget so we can save up for that vacation we want to take. As for someone to remind us that we wanted to spend more time with our family rather than spending time in front of the TV or on social media, no one is there either. Think of the best manager you've had, the one that could encourage you to do your best, correct you when you were getting of course and just make you want to perform at your absolute best. Those that achieve great things in life are those that can speak a positive word into themselves when they look in the mirror. What do you tell yourself if you aren&

Oh The Number Of Lives We Impact!

In my last post I talked about culture and about how we treat people, that it is important because our jobs are usually not about life and death. I've used that actual statement in my work before telling people that at the end of the day nobody dies, nobody's life is completely turned upside down by the work we do. Most of us work in jobs that lives are not dependent on us. Unfortunately that often leads to some people thinking their work doesn't matter. Just punch a clock and earn your paycheck. What is the point of giving any extra effort? The problem is that even if it isn't a matter of life and death, lives are most certainly impacted by the work you do. Everyone has a customer - someone that pays you money. For the organization I work for it is about printed materials, without them their business can't tell their story, stand out from their competition and help their customers. They don't get sales they could lose their jobs. Everyone has employees,

Your Culture Is The Greatest Strategic Advantage

I love finding stories about companies and how they do things differently in their culture. This story about the culture of Trader Joe's was a great read. The best was how their manager's will often tell their employees that "it's just groceries." Most of us probably work in a field where it isn't about life and death, yet we act like it is. Cracking the proverbial whip on employees to get that order out the door that the customer absolutely needs. Is it really worth it to make employees feel miserable? The Trader Joe's example shows us that it all comes down to caring about people. That means caring about the whole person, not just caring that the person can get the job done. Is Trader Joe's perfect? I'm sure not. You can probably easily find people that worked for the organization that didn't have such great experiences. There are bad managers everywhere but I'm guessing an organization that has defined cultural values can quickly find